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Motion for a resolution - B9-0202/2019Motion for a resolution

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on Cuba, the case of José Daniel Ferrer Garcia

26.11.2019 - (2019/2929(RSP))

with request for inclusion in the agenda for a debate on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law
pursuant to Rule 144 of the Rules of Procedure

Anna Fotyga, Karol Karski, Adam Bielan, Ryszard Czarnecki, Assita Kanko, Beata Kempa, Raffaele Fitto, Carlo Fidanza, Ruža Tomašić, Alexandr Vondra, Jan Zahradil, Jadwiga Wiśniewska, Witold Jan Waszczykowski, Veronika Vrecionová, Hermann Tertsch, Valdemar Tomaševski
on behalf of the ECR Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B9-0200/2019

Procedure : 2019/2929(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected :  
Texts tabled :
Texts adopted :


European Parliament resolution on Cuba, the case of José Daniel Ferrer Garcia


The European Parliament,

 having regard to its previous resolutions on Cuba,

  having regard to the Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement (PDCA) between the European Union and Cuba, signed in December 2016 and provisionally applied since 1 November 2017;

 having regard to the EU - Cuba Human Rights dialogue, held under the EU-Cuba PDCA, of 3 October 2019,

 having regard to the letters sent by MEPs to Cuban Ambassador on 25 October 2019 and 19 November 2019,

 having regard to the EU Guidelines on Human Rights Defenders,

 having regard to the UN Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review on Cuba in May 2018,

 having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and other international human rights treaties and instruments,

 having regard to the Constitution of Cuba,

 having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to which Cuba is a signatory,

 having regard to Rules 135(5) and 123(4) of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas Cuba remains a one-party communist state that outlaws political pluralism and continues to restrict political rights and civil liberties by systematically repressing dissent and criticism;

B.  whereas, according to independent international reports, the human rights situation in the country continues to be appealing; whereas Cuban authorities restrict freedom of the press, speech, association, assembly, religion and artistic freedoms; whereas Cubans who criticize the government continue to face the threat of criminal prosecution;

C.  whereas on 1 October 2019, José Daniel Ferrer García, leader of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU), was detained in the eastern city of Santiago de Cuba in a raid on his home which also serves as the UNPACU’s headquarters; 

D.  whereas José Daniel Ferrer García has been detained without any charges pressed against him; whereas his partner, Nelva Ismarays Orega, said that during a visit José Daniel Ferrer García told her police threatened to charge him with fabricated common crime so he could not be considered to be a political prisoner; 

E.  whereas according to credible reports, José Daniel Ferrer García has been submitted to repeated torture and is receiving ill-treatment while in detention, critically endangering his life and health;

F.  whereas José Daniel Ferrer García was one of the 75 dissidents arrested in 2003 during a nationwide crackdown known as the ‘Black Spring’ and was sentenced to 25 years in prison; whereas he was released on parole in 2011, but still detained more than 100 times since then;

G.  whereas José Daniel Ferrer García’s case is one of at least 125 other political prisoners in Cuba; whereas independent journalists, peaceful dissidents and human rights defenders documenting human rights abuses, who are mostly members of the democratic opposition, are persecuted, arbitrarily detained or held in jail;

H.  whereas Cuba remains one of the countries with the highest incarceration rates in the world, with reportedly 123,000 of its 11.2 million inhabitant - about 1 percent of the population - currently imprisoned;

I.  whereas Cuban citizens do not benefit from due process guarantees, such as the right to fair and public hearings by a competent and impartial tribunal; whereas prisoners on conditional release are often subject to continued harassment by the authorities; whereas all prisoners in Cuba must be guaranteed humane treatment;

J. whereas on 3 October 2019 the parties in the fifth EU-Cuba human rights dialogue addressed, among other matters, freedom of expression and access to information offline and online, the rights of vulnerable groups and the fight against gender-based violence.

K. whereas the Cuban Government still refuses to recognise human rights monitoring as a legitimate activity and denies legal status to local human rights groups;

L. whereas a constitutional referendum took place on 24 February 2019; whereas the process of establishing the new constitution lacked proper nationwide consultation, ensuring that the Communist Party maintains its powerful role in society without a multi-party system, basic freedoms and political and civil rights, thus reinforcing centralised state ownership and the controlled economy; whereas the single-party political system is declared as ‘irrevocable’ in Article 3 and Article 224 states that it is prohibited for the current and future generations to change the irreversibility of socialism, as well as the current political and social system; whereas there seem to be other highly worrying provisions in the draft;   

M. whereas there are signs of greater respect for freedom of religion in Cuba; whereas the Cuban authorities are, at the same time, still very restrictive with regard to the construction or reconstruction of Christian churches; whereas the church has gradually emerged as the largest civil-society actor and the key non-state social provider in Cuba, but its activities remain under tight control of the authorities;

N. whereas Parliament has awarded its Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought to Cuban activists on three occasions: Oswaldo Payá in 2002, the Ladies in White in 2005 and Guillermo Fariñas in 2010; whereas Cuban authorities continue to harass members of the Ladies in White movement;

O.  whereas on 5 July 2017, the European Parliament granted its consent to the EU-Cuba Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement (PDCA); whereas the PDCA clearly articulates its great concerns about the human rights situation in Cuba, and includes a suspension clause in the event of a violation of human rights provisions;


P.  Whereas, according to credible reports, Cuba along with Venezuela, assisted Bolivia in committing electoral fraud and contributed to the instability in the country after the resignation of former president Evo Morales;


1. Strongly condemns the arbitrary detention, persecution, harassment and attacks against José Daniel Ferrer García and other peaceful dissidents, independent journalists, human rights defenders and political opposition in Cuba; calls for an immediate end to these actions and for immediate and unconditional release of José Daniel Ferrer García and those arbitrarily detained solely for exercising their freedom of expression and assembly;

2.  Expresses grave concern about reports indicating José Daniel Ferrer García’s deteriorating health and reports of the use of torture and ill-treatment against him while in prison; calls on the Cuban authorities to urgently ensure he receives the medical care he requires and that he has unhindered access to lawyers and is able to communicate with his family;

3.  Strongly condemns the ongoing human rights violations in Cuba, including the lack of political freedoms, freedom of assembly, media and press freedom, freedom of religion and conscience; underlines the importance for all citizens to freely associate, express their views and participate in public life and for the Cuban authorities to ensure the totality of their rights;

4. Regrets that, despite the adopted PDCA, the situation regarding human rights and democracy has not improved in Cuba; calls for fulfilment of the binding obligations established in the PDCA between the EU and Cuba, in particular concerning respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms; recalls that the PDCA includes a provision for the suspension of the agreement that should be applied in the event of a violation of the provisions on human rights;

5. Urges the Cuban Government to redefine its policy on human rights by aligning it with international human rights law and to allow active participation in political and social life by all civil society and opposition political actors, without imposing any restrictions; calls on Cuba to affirm its intent to ‘uphold the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights’ by ratifying the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, as well as their optional protocols;

6. Reminds the Cuban authorities that freedom of movement and assembly is guaranteed under international human rights law, and that this freedom extends to activists and members of the democratic opposition;

7.  Demands the Cuban government to implement reforms to guarantee the freedom of the press, association and demonstration, and launch reforms to enable free, fair and democratic elections;

8. Calls on the Cuban Government to stop imposing online censorship and stop blocking internet sites for the sole purpose of limiting political criticism and restricting access to information;

9.  Is concerned with the new decree approved by President Miguel Díaz-Canel on Oct. 8 allowing prosecutors to approve eavesdropping and surveillance of any form of communication, without consulting a judge;

10. Calls on the Cuban Government to allow churches to conduct their social care activities freely in Cuban society; calls on the Cuban authorities to guarantee unhindered freedom of religion and conscience;

11. Calls on the Cuban authorities to review all death sentences to ensure that the associated trials adhered to international standards and that not a single execution occurs in the future;

12. Deeply regrets the Cuban authorities’ refusal to allow European Parliament committees, delegations and some political groups to visit Cuba despite Parliament granting its consent to the PDCA; calls on the authorities to immediately allow entry to the country, including the possibility of visiting the island when the constitutional referendum is due to be held on 24 February 2019;

13.  Strongly condemns Cuba’s assistance to Bolivia’s deposed president Evo Morales in committing electoral fraud as well as instigating unrest in Bolivia since his resignation;

14.  Calls on the Cuban authorities to make significant progress in transitioning from a Communist regime, which violates fundamental human rights, towards a free, fair and democratic state;

15. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Government and National Assembly of People’s Power of Cuba, the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the Commission, the EU Special Representative for Human Rights, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the governments of the Member States of the CELAC countries.



Last updated: 26 November 2019
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